Facebook has always been a visual medium. After all, it began as a digital look book before it was overtaken by friends and families sharing images of their youthful indiscretions and later their kids’ embarrassing moments. But lately, the platform has turned its attention from still photos to video. If you ask most marketers which content dominates on Facebook, they’ll tell you its video.
Sharing insights from BuzzSumo’s study of over 777 million Facebook posts, Buffer’s Brian Peters writes that “when it comes to taking your Facebook strategy to the next level, there’s no better way to do so than through video content.” Peters reports that “1% of the top 500 posts on Facebook in 2018 were videos.” Video posts also generate an average of 59% more engagement than other post types, he adds.
It’s not just organic posts that see higher engagement from video on Facebook either. Databox’s Elise Dopson polled 29 marketers to find out which type of content worked best for their Facebook Ads and video content was the clear favorite. Nearly 69% of the marketers she surveyed said video performed best. “Not only does the platform tend to prioritize this type of media but our audience tends to respond more frequently,” Unincorporated’s Ian Evenstar told Dopson.
Do some types of video work better than others on Facebook? Yes says Elaine Bennett at Hot in Social Media. She writes that “Facebook Live has 10 times greater reach than all other forms of Facebook content” and earns 6 times more interactions than pre-recorded video.
So whether you share video in an ad, an organic post or by live streaming, your brand can benefit from sharing video content on Facebook.
In this article, I’m going to reveal some of the best Facebook video marketing tips shared by contributors on the Zest Content Stream. So, get ready to upskill your video marketing talent with these 10 expert tips.
Ten expert tips for using Facebook Video to market your brand
1. Limit your videos to between 15 and 90 seconds in length.
After 90 seconds your engagement levels take a sharp drop says Joe Forte in “Beating the Algorithm: 11 Essential Facebook Video Secrets.” Fifteen seconds should be your maximum for video ads, Iconic Genuis’ James Marques told Elise Dopson at Databox.
There are some exceptions to the ‘keep it short and sweet’ rule, Newswhip’s Katherine Ellis points out that if Facebook users find video really worth watching--like Lady Gaga’s NFL halftime show which was nearly 15 minutes long--they don’t care how long it is.
2. Hook your viewers by getting straight to the point.
Offering further advice to Dopson for her article, “The Best Facebook Ad Content for Driving Awareness & Sales,” Joe Sloan says, hook ‘em fast. Your video ad needs to grab the viewer’s attention in the first 5-seconds.
How can you engage your viewers quickly?
For longer videos, Joe Forte recommends opening with a synopsis that “tells your audience what they will learn by watching your video.” Keep your introduction clear and concise and be sure to leave your audience wanting more.
3. Tell people why they should watch.
Every time you post a video on Facebook, you should post text along with it. Use this option to tell your viewers why your video is worth their time says Buffer’s Alfred Lua in "17 Ways to Get More Views, Engagement, and Shares for Your Facebook Videos."
And because you only have a few seconds to capture their attention, make certain the first sentence is enticing.
4. Catch people’s eye with a great thumbnail for your video.
The little things matter when it comes to getting Facebook users’ attention the team at AdEspresso found when they decided to test whether the thumbnail for a Facebook video ads could affect performance.
For this test, Paul Fairbrother writes, the team spent $1000 to see if this often overlooked detail should get more attention.
- The thumbnail image can change CPA up to 2X. Their experiment showed the best image to receive $25.02 CPA while the worst to have a $49.87 CPA.
- The most engaging photo or graphic will always win.
Your Facebook video thumbnail matters more than you think. “Picking the wrong image could seriously jeopardize the outcome of your Facebook video ads campaign.” So, don’t skip this design step when preparing your next Facebook video ad.
5. Vertical video outperforms square.
Speaking of research, Buffer teamed up with Animoto to do a little research of their own. Their goal was to determine which worked best, vertical or square video. Revealing the results of their study, Brian Peters writes that vertical videos performed best on Facebook.
Why? Because vertical video is mobile-friendly and, as Peters notes, “businesses and brands must keep up with mobile-centric video trends if they want to succeed on social media in 2019.”
But there is one catch. According to The 2019 Guide to Social Media Video Specs by Vyond, the Facebook Messenger home feed only supports landscape format videos. So this strategy only will work on Facebook native platform.
6. Get your Facebook Business Page moving.
Did you know that you can use a “cover video” instead of a static image on your Facebook Business Page? This is a great option for brands to utilize for:
- Introducing your brand and it's people authentically
- Show off your latest product offering
- Promote an upcoming sale or event, etc.
Uploading the video is the easy part; there are just a few steps you need to take to make sure you create a video that works for your Faceobok page. Hubspot shares the details for setting up your cover video in the article, 11 Best Practices for Facebook Cover Photos & Videos [+Templates].
- Get the size right. This is 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall for computers, and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on mobile devices.
- You can use text but don't overdue it. Creating something visually appealing is always the most important.
- Always take note of how the video interacts with your logo and the CTA buttons on your page.
- Keep your mobile audience in mind always. Make sure the video will appear well on both desktop and mobile device.
In the Hubspot article, they do a great job sharing visual examples of brands doing this well.
7. Caption your content.
This is a great practice in audience inclusively. RazorSocial’s Ian Cleary notes that 85% of Facebook video viewers leave the sound off. Facebook (and other social media platforms) has been a great equalizer for the deaf community as well. Closed captioning gives the deaf community equal access to your content.
Facebook knows the importance of this so they have offered a variety of tools to help bring captions to your videos.
To best serve your entire audience, serve up captioning with your video content.
8. Use a mix of video content to keep things interesting.
There are several different types of videos that you can create to deliver your brand’s message on Facebook.
- Live video
- Tutorial videos
- Informational videos
- BTS videos
- UGC videos
Experiment with different types of videos of varying lengths to see what appeals to your audience. And remember, just like text-based content you can repurpose your video. Create short snippets from a long tutorial or record your live video for replays.
9. Promote and distribute your video content for maximum impact.
Hot in Social Media recommends several strategies for building an audience for your live video stream.
Build buzz around your Facebook Live event. If it is a series, promote it like a TV show with multiple episodes. Share clips of the video across multiple social channels to create buzz. Post links to the content in your Facebook Groups (if it’s not against the rules!), and use Facebook Messenger and email to notify your fans when you publish a new video.
10. Check your metrics.
Your marketing campaign isn’t over until the numbers are in. So, create a system to check the performance of your video content.
In her article, How to Create a Social Media Report: A Step-by-Step Guide, Anna Bredava recommends that you begin the process by making a list of the goals you want your campaign to achieve. Then, choose which metrics you’ll monitor and establish your benchmarks.
Reach your audience on Facebook with videos that add value and capture their attention.
The growing power of video on social media can’t be overlooked. I expect to see more great content on the Zest Content Stream detailing how to make the most of video on Facebook and other social media channels in the weeks and months to come. What about you? Do you think video is here to stay? How has your brand incorporated video into its social media marketing strategy? I’d love to hear about it. Send me an email or DM me on Facebook and tell me how you’ll use these strategies.